Monday, 7 October 2019


There is so much media coverage at the moment about climate change and the urgency to change our ways of life before humanity becomes extinct.  I've been thinking about this a lot recently and had some radical thoughts on the matter, one of which is - what if this is our destiny?  What if we are meant to self destruct?  Nothing lasts forever.  It is a depressing thought but maybe the destruction of the planet will serve as a lesson to other future beings - if they ever exist.

Insightful people ask 'why am I here?'  The answer may be - it doesn't matter.  Find a reason for being here.  If your purpose is to save the planet then go do that.  Just know that the earth and all it contains is ephemeral and extinction is its ultimate destiny even if we can delay the outcome.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Catching Up

I thought I would drop by before you forget me.  It is a sobering thought to know how quick we are forgotten and replaced by other interests and priorities.  One reason for my absence is my time has been taken up with selling on line - choosing, photographing, uploading, weighing, wrapping, going to Post Office etc.  As I don't have a job I am looking for ways to earn an income and selling my outgrown or less loved items is a way of generating some pin money.  The little rag doll above was bought on a whim a few years back but she spends her time packed away so it is time to let her go.

October is fast approaching and I feel like I am being swept along the year.  I have so many projects I want to start and a couple of new hobbies to try too. The trouble is I am never in the right frame of mind to do anything.  Today in particular I feel so lethargic.  I hope this is temporary.

Last week I revisited an old haunt - the vineyard.  I've not been for a few years and I went to help out with the harvest, volunteering on a couple of days.  We worked in pairs and chatted our way along the rows snipping off the bunches of grapes - Ortega and Pinot Meunier.  There is still grapes to be picked over the next month but I doubt I will return.  It was a non profit organisation when I started back in 2011 but it has become very corporate and doesn't feel the same to me anymore.  It was back breaking work and I wondered why I was even there (apart from catching up with an old familiar face.)

That is all I have to say for now.  I hope that Saturday is dry.  I have windfalls to collect, leaves to be swept and a general garden tidy up is required. 

Monday, 2 September 2019

Lemon Pips and Other Things

I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos recently.  It is great for tutorials and learning things although you do have to be discerning and sort the wheat from the chaff!  A new to me YouTuber uploads Project Diaries. He is very informative and shows hints and tips on growing things.  After binge watching a few of his videos I decided to follow his instructions on growing lemons from seeds.  Two weeks later I have the beginnings of two tiny lemon trees from a couple of pips from a discarded lemon.  It is so exciting to see life created before my eyes!

Away from the garden and back to the home I was looking for an affordable way to freshen the carpets.  I had an out of date container of Bicarbonate of Soda and some essential oils that went out of date a long time ago.  Although I wouldn't want to use them for cosmetic use I thought they would be perfectly acceptable to mix with the bicarb.  I mixed 30 drops of geranium and 10 drops of peppermint oil into the bicarb of soda.  I let it rest, meanwhile vacuuming the carpet.  I then sprinkled the carpet all over with the mixture and left it for a couple of hours before vacuuming again.  The house smells clean and fresh and I didn't have to pay out for a specific carpet freshener with synthetic fragrance.

I am in a cleaning and tidying up frame of mind at the moment but really want to get back to my watercolour painting and other creative outlets.  I will just have to find space in my day and fit them in! 

Thursday, 29 August 2019

The Folly in the Park

We returned to Hatfield House Park and Gardens once more and followed the woodland walk.  During the walk we came across a castle folly that dates from the 1780's. 

Peeking in from the closed wrought iron gate in the centre of the folly, I managed to squeeze in my camera to take a couple of pictures of the room inside.  A neglected room with a couple of  'modern' wicker chairs and a fireplace each end.

 Most of the windows were boarded up.

A lovely tiled floor with a chequerboard design.

Straight opposite me was another gated doorway that led to the secret garden beyond.  So secret that all we could make out was water and another building in the distance.

The wall around the secret garden, which was once a vineyard, was built much earlier than the folly back in 1633.  I wonder who, if anyone, visits the secret garden today.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Flower Face

I often see faces in things.  Can you see the face in this Viola?  It's the reason I bought a whole tray of 20 plants - just to have the one with the face.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Hatfield House Gardens Part Four - The Final Part

I hope you have enjoyed these last few posts about Hatfield House and the gardens.

I was certainly inspired by my visit and have taken ideas from the house and garden to apply in my own home.

I didn't grow any nasturtiums this year and this display of them in the kitchen garden have reminded me to grow them again.  I think the cream ones are especially delightful.

They were growing various varieties of runner beans including purple podded ones.  Next year I think I will grow them up a framework like that shown above.

Great face on the a pillar of a gateway.

I think this plant is eryngium or sea holly.  The insects loved it!

 A lovely entrance to the gates.  Look at all that perfumed lavender either side.

 A gently bubbling water feature.

 A beautiful modern sun dial.  We couldn't see a shadow due to cloud cover.

 Calming water ripples.

Flower beds inside the kitchen garden and some lovely painted hen houses.  Chickens were seen but were elusive when it came to taking their pictures.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Hatfield House Part Three

A section of the long gallery.  The ceiling was originally white but covered in gold leaf by the 2nd Marquess after seeing a gold ceiling in Venice.

The Library. This is just a small part of the library which was full of over 100,000 books going back as far as the 16th century to the present day.  It;s a pity that we couldn't explore the shelves!

 A replica of Charles I death mask on the right.

 A suit of armour.  I was half expecting it to walk!

Stained glass windows in the private chapel depicting scenes from the Old Testament.  The chapel is still used by the family each Sunday.